When Jan Sperrhake talks about his steps into self-employment, it is always with sparkling eyes: "There is something very special about working in a team on an idea that we develop jointly! Through the many conversations during research, experience was gained from successes and failures, from which a common mindset and a strong bond within the team developed. In particular, this also trained the interdisciplinary communication with my colleague from sports science and stress research, Maria Nisser. But also the successful practical tests in the children's clinic were highly motivating for us!"
The successful collaboration began in the graduate school and research projects of the 3Dsensation innovation alliance, which focused on human-machine interface design using 3D technologies. Here, basic principles were developed within the interdisciplinary project "NeoVital", which dealt with contactless methods for monitoring the vital functions of newborns. The promising results and the goal - to transfer research results into real benefits for humans - motivated to think further beyond the funding goals of the project, so that the practical aspects came more and more to the focus. This resulted in important alliances and synergies, such as those with the University Hospital's pediatric clinic. "It is enough if it has been demonstrated that the idea or technology has potential. You then don't have to research the idea to death or waste a lot of time on entrepreneurship preparations, just do it!" laughs Jan Sperrhake.
The fact that they were on the right track was already demonstrated in 2019 when they were honored with the Edmund Optics Educational Award , because its jury examined the submitted ideas for application prospects and entrepreneurial aspects using a multi-stage process. At the latest now, the two founders caught fire and wanted to expand this success outside university structures independently and creatively free.
"Critics have also been very helpful to us. They point out weaknesses in the concept and arouse curiosity about other aspects. This has given us a lot of input on the different user viewpoints - patient - nursing staff - distribution channel, etc. - and we have dealt with them. This can be seen as an iterative process that sharpens the view and in the process I had to ask myself whether management is suitable for me at all - ultimately we divide the tasks in the company according to competence and also enthusiasm for the cause. I have to find answers or position myself appropriately, and I am well prepared to recognize and grasp opportunities. So success is not a matter of luck, it's a matter of preparedness!" Many of these critical questions came from other founders, and about them Jan Sperrhake says, "Entrepreneurship is very social because people like to share their ideas and experiences."
Xsight Optics GmbH is established since the end of 2021, and its goal is to make everyday clinical life much easier with a mobile, contactless medical sensor - similar to the tricorder from the "Starship Enterprise" series. The young company from Jena is supported by partners for a global network of users, developers, supporters and sales, so that Maria Nisser and Jan Sperrhake look to the future with excitement and enthusiasm.